Sanur or Uluwatu: Which Bali destination should you choose?

If you’re planning a trip to Bali there are plenty of destinations to consider such as Kuta, Legian, Lovina, Canggu, Ubud, Seminyak and of course Sanur and Uluwatu. In this article, we will be looking at two destinations that you might be considering, Sanur or Uluwatu.

Both of these areas offer unique experiences and attractions for your stay in Bali. Which one is right for you? In this article, we’ll compare Uluwatu or Sanur in terms of their beaches, accommodations, nightlife, cultural attractions, and more to help you make an informed decision on a place to stay in Bali. 

Sanur or Uluwatu

There’s no denying our fave place in Bali is Sanur and we chose it time and again but there are so many reasons to consider other places to stay in Bali. Here we have all you need to know about Sanur vs Uluwatu.

Beaches

Sanur is known for its white sand, and shallow calm waters, making it a popular destination for families with kids and swimmers. The beach is also lined with wooden fishing boats, restaurants and bars, making it easy to grab a bite to eat or a cold drink.

Uluwatu, on the other hand, is famous for its surf breaks and stunning cliffside views. While the beach may not be as conducive to swimming, it’s perfect for surfing and enjoying the sunset.

Blue skies and white sands on the beach at Sanur in Bali
Many people enjoy relaxing on the beach at Sanur

The coastline in Uluwatu is simply stunning with its cliffs, but not as easily accessible as Sanur Beach. There are a number of beach clubs in both destinations. In Sanur, you can head to the Segara Beach Club, while in Uluwatu head to the Oneeighty Beach Club. Bali is known to have some of the best beaches in South East Asia.

Accommodations

Both Sanur and Uluwatu offer a range of accommodations to suit different budgets and preferences for your Bali holiday. In Sanur, you’ll find everything from budget guesthouses to luxury resorts. Uluwatu, on the other hand, is known for its high-end private villas and boutique hotels.

However, both destinations have options for all types of travellers. When staying in Sanur the best places to stay are right on the Beach, while in Uluwatu accommodation options are a little further away. 

Are you thinking about a holiday in Sanur? Our Start Here Page has all the information you need

Nightlife

Sanur has a more laid-back nightlife scene, with a focus on beachfront bars and live music. Sanur is perfect if you’re looking for a slower pace. Uluwatu, on the other hand, has a more upscale nightlife scene, with rooftop bars and clubs.

If you’re looking for a party, Uluwatu might be the better choice. Ulu Cliffhouse in Uluwatu has weekly DJ nights, while Savaya features big international guest DJs.

Cultural Attractions

Both Sanur and Uluwatu offer a range of cultural attractions to explore. In Sanur, you’ll find the Blanjong Pillar, a historical monument that dates back to the 10th century. Uluwatu, on the other hand, is home to the famous Uluwatu Temple on the Bukit peninsula, which is perched on a cliff overlooking the ocean.

The Uluwatu Temple is located on a stunning cliff neat the ocean
The iconic Uluwatu Temple

At Uluwatu Temple you can watch the Kecak Dance, where, dancers wearing brightly coloured costumes enact a story from Hindu mythology. Both Sanur and Uluwatu are worth a visit and provide a glimpse into Bali’s rich history and culture.

Food

Bali is known for its delicious cuisine, and both Sanur and Uluwatu offer a range of dining options. In Sanur, you’ll find a mix of Indonesian and Western cuisine, with seafood being a particular highlight. Many of the resorts along the beachfront have restaurants in Sanur facing the ocean.

Amazing food all over Bali

Uluwatu, on the other hand, has a more upscale dining scene, with restaurants offering everything from traditional Balinese cuisine to international fusion dishes.

On Jalan Danau Tamblingan in Sanur you will find a café to suit your needs serving the best breakfasts, lunches and coffee in Sanur. In Uluwatu head to Jalan Raya Uluwatu and Jalan Labuansait,

Shopping

Both Sanur and Uluwatu have their fair share of markets and boutiques. Sanur is known for its art markets, where you can find traditional Balinese handicrafts and souvenirs. Uluwatu, on the other hand, has a range of high-end boutiques and surf shops. Both these locations are away from the busy shopping strips of Kuta and Seminyak.

Do you love the beach? We have 18 of the best things you can do on Sanur Beach

Outdoor Activities

If you’re looking for outdoor activities, both Sanur and Uluwatu offer plenty of options. In Sanur, you can go snorkelling, fishing, parasailing and more. Sanur is one of the best places in Bali with white sand beaches and water sports.

Preparing to surf in sanur or uluwatu
You can surf in either Sanur or Uluwatu,

Uluwatu, on the other hand, is perfect for surfing, bodyboarding and paragliding, where you can even do an ATV experience in Uluwatu. Both destinations also offer opportunities for hiking and cycling

Accessibility

Sanur is located on the east coast of Bali, while Uluwatu is located on the southern tip of the island. Sanur is closer to the airport than Uluwatu and it will take around 30 plus minutes to reach your resort in Sanur. Uluwatu will take you 45 minutes to an hour to reach your accommodation in South Bali.

Both destinations are easily accessible to the popular areas Bali has to offer. You can easily go and explore the Island destinations such as Nusa Dua, Jimbaran, Amed, Seminyak, Canggu, Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Penida with a private driver or on a tour.

Weather in Sanur or Uluwatu

Bali is known for its tropical climate, with warm temperatures and high humidity year-round. However, the weather can vary between different parts of the island. When you stay in, Sanur the weather tends to be slightly cooler and less humid than Uluwatu due to its coastal location, but both areas experience similar weather patterns.

Safety – Sanur or Uluwatu

Bali is generally considered a safe destination for travellers, but it’s always important to take precautions. Petty theft and scams can occur in busy tourist areas, so it’s important to be aware of your surroundings and take steps to keep your belongings secure.

One thing you need to look out for all across Bali is uneven surfaces, large gutters, steps and broken footpaths. Make sure you bring some sturdy shoes to walk around in. Both Sanur and Uluwatu have a low crime rate, but it’s still a good idea to exercise caution. 

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Budget

Both Sanur and Uluwatu offer options for travellers on different budgets. Sanur has a range of budget-friendly guesthouses and mid-range hotels, while Uluwatu tends to have higher-end accommodations.

However, there are still affordable options available in Uluwatu, such as hostels and budget hotels. Food and activities are generally affordable in both areas.  

When it comes to choosing between Sanur or Uluwatu, it ultimately depends on your preferences and what you’re looking for in a destination.

Sanur offers a lovely beach more relaxed atmosphere and family-friendly beaches, while Uluwatu has a more upscale vibe and world-class surf breaks.

One of the many beach club bars in Uluwatu

However, both areas offer a range of attractions and activities to explore, and you can’t go wrong with either choice. Remember, a day trip is also an option to either destination when you make your choice between Sanur or Uluwatu.

Best time to visit Sanur Bali

The best time to visit Sanur and other spots in Bali, Indonesia, is during the dry season, which runs from May to September. During this time, the weather is generally sunny with low humidity, making it perfect for outdoor activities such as walking, swimming, snorkelling, and lying by the pool.

April and October shoulder seasons can also be good times to visit Sanur, as the weather is still pleasant but with fewer crowds. Pack your suitcase and book your flights for one of the best periods to visit attractions such as Bali Zoo, Waterbom and the Monkey Forest.

However, if you don’t mind the occasional rain shower, visiting Sanur during the wet season from October to March can also have advantages. The lush greenery and cooler temperatures can be refreshing, but ensure you have a waterproof bag and umbrella for your outings in case of a downpour.

It’s worth noting that Bali is a popular tourist destination, and the peak season for tourism is from June to August. If you prefer to avoid crowds and higher prices, planning your visit outside these months is best.

Thank you for taking the time to read our blog post about Sanur Bali! We hope you found it informative and helpful in planning your trip to this beautiful region. If you’re looking for more information about things to do in Sanur, recommendations for places to eat, or where to go from Sanur, be sure to check out our website.

Our team is dedicated to providing you with the most up-to-date and accurate information to make your holiday planning, from choosing hotels on and off the beach to scooter rental, as smooth as possible. Once again, thank you for reading, and we hope our articles continue to be a valuable resource for your travel plans.

For more accommodation options in Sanur Bali, click through to our places to stay page or search Luxury Escapes, Booking.com or Agoda

More travel inspiration for your Sanur vacation

Things to do in Sanur

Things to do in Sanur and its content is created by two Australians who have been to Sanur many times. We have enjoyed food and drink on the beach, we have sipped coffee on Jalan Danau Tamblingan. We have stayed in homestays and hotels in Sanur and made day trips to see the best of Bali. Not only that, but we aim to keep the information fresh by continuing to visit Sanur and getting first-hand information off our Balinese friends.

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